CRT lose Section 8 case after 6-year court battle

We have just received the following press release from Nigel Moore, who has won his case on appeal:

“They used to boast that they had never lost a Section 8 case, but the Canal & River Trust now have suffered a significant setback with regard to the extent of their claimed powers over boaters.

Today [Thursday 14 February 2013] Lord Justice Mummery handed down the Appeal Court’s Judgment in the six year long case of Moore v British Waterways Board.

BW’s case had been, according to today’s judgment, “that it had power to require the removal of the claimant’s vessels, as they were permanently moored without any common law right to do so or without any permission granted by it and therefore ‘without lawful authority’.”

However despite upholding Hildyard J’s findings on common-law riparian rights, the Appeal Court came to the unanimous conclusion that his ruling on the effect of Section 8 of the BW Act of 1983 was in fact constitutionally unsound.

In finding that the mooring of Mr Moore’s boats was lawful, the Court declared that “the law allows him to do what it did not prohibit at common law or by statute.”

They stated “In this appeal the position simply is that on the agreed facts . . . BWB had no power under s.8 to require the claimant to remove vessels the mooring of which was lawful, as their presence was not unlawful: BWB is unable to support its notices on the basis that the mooring of vessels by the claimant was ‘without lawful authority’ within s.8.”

The notices were therefore invalid; the relevant sections of Hildyard J’s Order set aside, and CRT has been ordered to pay 75% of Mr Moore’s costs of both the Appeal Court hearing and that of the court below.

In stark contrast to the usual phalanx of their legal team attendance at previous judgments, not a single CART representative was prepared to show their face for this one.”

You can download a copy of the judgement here Moore_v_BW_[2013]_EWCA_Civ_73.

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